Why We Chose International Adoption

Last week I had a "conversation" about international adoption through Facebook thread. I hesitate to even call it a conversation because I felt as if the statements made by the other person were rash, hurtful, and judgmental. The statements generalized international adoption as a whole in an extremely negative light. 

Boy oh boy, did those comments get to me. And honestly, the night after this "conversation" occurred, I considered rehashing the things that were said and my argument against them right here on my blog. But now, after advice from a friend and prayer, I've realized attacks against a person (or persons) often come from people who lack understanding of the situation.

In this situation the attack came against people who choose to adopt internationally instead of domestically. And maybe, just maybe, that attack came from a lack of understanding. And I thought that maybe some of you, although you have all been nothing but kind and supportive, might have the same questions.  

So today, I'll be sharing the reasons why we decided to adopt internationally AND why it's 100% okay with me that not everyone is called to that road. 

NUMBER ONE: We chose international adoption because we feel called to it. I know that feeling "called" is probably an overused Christian term, but I'm not sure how else to describe it. This decision was not made rashly. It was bathed in prayer, planning, and discussion. I believe that God calls each of us to different places, different ministries and this is ours. Right now, in this point of our lives, this is our call. 

During the Facebook conversation that I mentioned up above, someone kindly and innocently asked why people choose to adopt internationally besides feeling "called," and I won't deny that I began to wonder that maybe my number one reason wasn't "enough" of an answer. I don't think that's what the questioner was implying but still I found myself feeling unsure. 

But after some prayer, I realized how silly that is. We don't question pastors when they feel called to the ministry or college students who feel lead to work in the mission field during the summer. Adoption in general is just as much of a calling. In my book, feeling God's call on your life to adopt a child is plenty of reason to move forward.

NUMBER TWO: We chose international adoption because we saw a need and we were able to step up and meet it. The country we are adopting from has been torn apart by the several civil wars they have experienced in the past decade. An average of 50,000 people die each month from war, murder, and even cannibalism; but, people also die from simple illnesses such as diarrhea. Half of the 50,000 that die each month are children. Orphanages are overcrowded and receive little to no support from the government. Most children eat one meal a day and that meal is cooked over an outdoor fire. This is the need we saw and when we heard about it, we felt like there was no way we couldn't answer. 

I don't share those statistics to guilt or persuade anyone to adopt internationally, but those statistics are there. I also don't share those statistics to say that children in orphanages in the United States don't also have struggles and difficulties. I know that they also suffer from sicknesses, disabilities, disease, torn apart families, loneliness, depression, etc. and I do not discount that, I have not forgotten that or them. I pray that someday God will also lead us to meet the need of orphans here in the states through adoption. 

NUMBER THREE: Last and probably the least important reason that we chose international adoption at this time is because of some of the uncertainties of laws here in the US (e.g. birth mother changing her mind, biological family found for foster to adopt child, etc.). I am fully aware that people could consider that being a cowardly reason to choose international adoption; and while it wasn't the only factor, it was a factor. I will openly admit that when stepping out to adopt, there were some fears I just didn't want to address. Although, international adoption comes with a whole slew of other fears and concerns. I know and have seen people experience the loss of a child after a birth mother changes her mind and I just didn't want to deal with that risk at this time. Selfish? Maybe. Honest? Completely.

People have also asked why we didn't consider becoming foster parents for a child or children. Honestly, I love the idea of fostering and Cody and I have discussed it before. But at this time, with Gunner being so young, I don't like to idea of kids possibly being moved in and out of our house. I want his environment to be as consistent and steady as I can keep it. Just a personal preference. I definitely think Cody and I would consider fostering when our children are older. 

I know that our reasons to adopt internationally might be different than the reasoning for other people, and I'm okay with that. I also know that some people aren't called to international adoption or adoption in general, and I'm okay with that too. This is our specific journey, our specific story, our specific calling. What I really hope for is a Christian community that can support all adoptions and all types of orphan care. James 1:27 says that all Christians are called to take care of the orphans in some way; whether that be through adoption, foster care, summer mission trips, volunteering in programs, etc. We all play a part and each part is important. I hope we can stop arguing over continent and country boundaries and start loving and supporting each other. That is the only way we'll make a difference in this orphan crisis. 

If you have any other questions or comments, feel free to email me or just leave them in the comment form below.

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